Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) late Thursday afternoon called a rare live quorum in the Senate chamber in an effort to break an impasse over a one-month extension to unemployment insurance benefits.
Reid called the live quorum call during which the Sergeant-at-Arms is authorized to request that Members come to the chamber following more than an hour of unsuccessful negotiations on the Senate floor with Republicans and Democrats.
Reid spokesman Jim Manley said the quorum call is an attempt to bring all the Members of the Senate together to try and figure out how to proceed on unemployment insurance, adding that the question is whether were going to work through the weekend or if we can work something out Thursday night.
Once all of the Members are on the floor, Reid will start a colloquy and see where things go, Manley said.
Earlier in the day, Reid beat back an effort by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) to force a vote on a fully paid-for version of the unemployment insurance extension. While the current bill is not fully offset, Republicans and some Democrats believe it should include at least some level of funding.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.